Garden City Mayor John Evans Encourages All Mayors to Join the #100MayorMovement

Garden City Mayor John Evans cracks a smile when asked what his favorite part of participating in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge, a program under the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health’s High Five initiative.

“Definitely walking with the kids at school,” he says. “It’s a hoot. You get asked all kinds of questions.”

Some of his favorites:

“Do you live in the White House?”

“Are you the king of the city?”

“Do you control the power grid?”

“You’re a celebrity when you go to the schools,” Evans says. “The smaller the kids, the more of a celebrity you are. As a mayor, if you can convey that physical activity is a cool thing, that’s a good thing.”

Evans again will participate in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge, which is open to all Idaho mayors.

Here’s how it works: Idaho mayors are eligible to win $1,000 for the school of their choice if they can average 10,000 steps per day in October. The Foundation provides a FitBit that tracks the number of steps mayors take each day. The $1,000 can be used by the school for things that align with High Five’s mission of promoting physical activity and access to healthy foods for Idaho children.

The Foundation has set a goal of getting half of Idaho’s 200 mayors to participate this year. Last year, 72 mayors signed up. Registration opens in September.

Evans has a list of reasons why mayors should join the #100MayorMovement:

1) Your school can use the $1,000.

2) You are setting a good example for the kids.

3) “It can be powerful for a kid to hear that the mayor said it’s good to be outside and running around.”

4) Technology makes it pretty easy. “You pull something up on your phone, stick an earphone in and an hour’s gone by like that.

5) ”Instead of “why?” think “why not?”You get 10,000 bonus steps each time you walk with kids at school, making it easier to meet the daily step average.

Evans takes advantage of the Mayor’s Walking Challenge to reinforce that Garden City is a community.

“I really like to bring one of the police officers with me when walking with the kids at school,” he said. “Any time I can get some interaction that isn’t a negative with a police officer, that’s a good thing. A part of community policing is to destigmatize your officers and humanize them, and we’re always looking to do that.”

Evans’ final words of encouragement to mayors who aren’t sure if they’re going to enter this year.

“You don’t have to be a marathoner or die-hard walker,” he says. “If you can put one leg in front of the other, you’ll get there.”


Mayor John Evans Profile

City: Garden City

Profession other than Mayor: Developer

Favorite Places to Walk: Boise River Greenbelt, his neighborhood and Dry Creek Cemetery

Where Did 2018 Mayor’s Walking Challenge Funds Go? Anser Charter School and Future Public School. The schools purchased sports gear and equipment for the weight room.

Did you know? Mayor Evans has walked several miles inside his house during the challenge. “The way my house is configured, I can make a loop. When the weather is bad, I’ve taken my iPad with Netflix, and after a few collisions, I’ve figured it out how I can watch and walk.”